National Catholic Schools Week
On Jan. 28, Catholic schools will gather together in observation of National Catholic Schools Week (NCSW), an annual celebration of culture and community dating back to 1974.
“The purpose [of NCSW] is to shine a light on Catholic schools and the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to the Catholic Church, local communities and the nation,” explains Margaret Kaplow, public relations manager with the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).
Monica McCourt Ramos, a Philadelphia resident and mother of two Catholic school children, will be participating in her 12th National Catholic Schools Week in 2018.
“My favorite thing about Catholic Schools Week is touring the classrooms and seeing how proud the students are to show off their work,” she says. “It is important to recognize the contributions of Catholic schools. They play a big role in our communities and the future of our communities. The lessons we teach our children today will be carried into the future. It is very important for them to learn to give back and help how they can.”
Held each year on the week beginning on the last Sunday in January, NCSW provides individual schools a chance to shine.
“Each year, we begin planning very early for Catholic Schools Week,” says Carl P. Jankowski, the principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Maple Shade, NJ. “This week gives us an opportunity to celebrate all that encompasses Catholic schools—our parish, our community, our students, our nation, vocations, and our faculty, staff and volunteers, and finally, our families.
Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Moorestown, NJ, plans to mark the occasion with activities including a lip sync battle, “knowledge bowl,” spelling bee, student vs. faculty basketball game, silly sock day, pep rally and a sports jersey day.
“Catholic Schools Week is a great way for us to showcase our school to the community,” says Denise Costic, administrative assistant with Our Lady of Good Counsel School. “We can highlight the advantages of a student receiving a Catholic education.”